Category: Book Related

Monthly TBR – July 2024

Given we’re about a third of the way into July, I’m overdue sharing my monthly TBR, no?

In today’s post I have a great range of books to share that I plan for read in the next few weeks. You’ll have seen a good few of them before as they are carryovers. At the same time, I have a few new faces too, so let’s get stuck in!

 

Fixed Reads


You Coach You

My last current read and carryover is You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

As of this monthly TBR I have actually just finished this audiobook this morning. However, I spent at least a couple of hours this month getting to that point so it’s going on this TBR to mark that progress effort.

I’ve enjoyed this audio so much and see the value in its content that I’ve just ordered a paperback copy to refer back to and re-read in future!


Master of Sorrows


Master of Sorrows is on yet another monthly TBR… but not as a non-starter this time!

I’ve been trying to read the book since February and I finally started it last month. It is, however, a current read so it makes it onto July’s monthly TBR as a carryover. Can I say, may it please be the last?!

I’m about halfway through the book, so there’s no reason I won’t be completing this soon!


Obsidio

Another carryover from my June TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

I started this last book in the Illuminae files trilogy last month after accidentally leaving Master of Sorrows at work. It’s been a refreshing change to read a mixed media book again! It’ll also be even better to be able to mark this series as complete once I’ve finished it. I’ll be sad to see it end, but there is another sci-fi series they’ve co-written I could pick up…

As of this post, I’m around a third of the way into the book. It’s a quick read, so again, I expect to finish it before long.


Mood Reads


The Other People

The only book on my June TBR I didn’t get to is The Other People by C.J. Tudor. It’s mum’s favourite book of hers so far, so I’m really looking forward to reading it this month instead.

I haven’t picked up a mystery novel at all this year, so it will make a refreshing change! I’ve enjoyed two of C.J. Tudor’s books already, so I have high hopes for this one!


Defiant

With my Mid Year Check In and Summer TBR posts still fresh in my mind, I’m adding a book to this monthly TBR that will earn me another series completion.

Defiant is the last book in Brandon Sanderson’s Skyward series. Honestly, I’ll be sad to get to the end of it, but I also want to see how Spensa’s story ends. For a series to which I’m not the target demographic, I’m getting on with it really well. Equally, I haven’t met a Sanderson book I’ve disliked…

Let’s hope I’ve met jinxed it!


The Power of Habit

Another selection with my 2024 reading goals in mind is a recent acquisition. The Power of Habit is both a non-fiction book and will, with any luck, help towards my blogging goal of using social media more!

In theory this is a win-win read, but we’ll see how that works out in practice.


Summary

July’s monthly TBR reflects a reading month in which I plan to catch up with ongoing reads. However, there are also a couple of new books I’m introducing here. I’m not planning a long list that I think is unachievable, so here’s to a productive month! 

 

Have you read any of the books on this monthly TBR? Do you have any tips on how I can get better at making social media a habit?

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Monthly Wrap-Up – June 2024

It’s scary how we’re back for another monthly wrap-up post already. Not only that, but we’re now halfway through the year! I’m curious to see how my half year stats and progress look compared to my reading goals. If you are too, I’ll be posting that update next week. Stay tuned.

For now though, we’re limiting scope to my reading progress against my June TBR. I don’t feel I’ve done that well this month as reading has been slow, but let’s see…

Books Read

Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes

When I left off in last month’s monthly wrap-up post, I had just under 50% of the audiobook to go. It was more than I remembered, so I don’t feel so hard on myself for reading progress any more!

I loved this audio, although naturally the content at the end of the book was very sad. Still, I’m glad I read it! I really admire Terry and now I know more about his life beyond the documentary I’ve watched. That was interesting too, but this audio was far more intimate and knowledgeable over a longer stretch of time.

The Long Earth

Another Terry Pratchett book I carried over into June is The Long Earth. As of my last monthly wrap-up I was 65% into this book.

I enjoyed this jaunt into science-fiction with Terry and Stephen Baxter and I’m interested to see where the rest of the series takes us. From where we left off in The Long Earth, the series could really go anywhere. I’m interested to see where that is!

The talents of both authors shine through in this book as the lighthearted humour contributed by Terry blends well with the science-fiction elements that can only come from Stephen.

Master of Sorrows

I have intended to get to Master of Sorrows since February this year. June is finally the month I started the book. It’s been a long time coming, and so far I’m really enjoying the story.

As of this monthly wrap-up post, I’m just over 200 pages, or 45%, into this book. I’m so glad I’m now reading it and that I picked up the sequel a couple of weeks ago. That can be risky business, but fellow bloggers I follow have raved about these books so I was always confident I’d enjoy it!

I can’t wait to share more as I make further progress.

You Coach You

After finishing my listen of Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes, I started You Coach You by Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis.

I love these pair! I listen to a podcast they run called Squiggly Careers. If you ever want a resource for developing skills personally or at work, this is where I would point anyone. I’ve obviously paid for the audiobook, but they share a lot of free content as well. It’s approachable and engaging to all!

I’m 60% through the audio at the end of June. I love the formatting of the book and how it’s come together. I’ve already decided I want a copy in physical format to refer back to again in future as and when I need it! The audiobook also comes with a lot of supplementary content. Admittedly I’ve not looked at it all yet – that’s for after listening 😊

So far it’s proving a good resource and an engaging listen!

Obsidio

I always intended to pick up Obsidio this month… however not in the circumstances I did.

There were a couple of days last week when I had left Master of Sorrows on my desk at work. As a result, I couldn’t read it during the evening. So, instead I picked up Obsidio. It’s a nice light read, a conclusion of a series I’m part-way through and it was on my TBR already. Win-win!

As of this monthly wrap-up post to the end of June I’m 95 pages in and looking forward to reading more very soon!

Summary

Admittedly I’ve read more than I thought. On my June TBR I haven’t made a whole bunch of progress. However, I wasn’t taking into consideration the books I carried over from my last update.

What have you read this last month? Do you have any recommendations?

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Monthly TBR – June 2024

Good afternoon fellow readers and welcome to one of my favourite posts of the month – my monthly TBR. It’s a post of future plans and looking ahead at exciting books coming up on my immediate reading list!

This month I have a few carryovers (current reads and ones I didn’t get to in May) but also some new titles to feature.

So, shall we get into the details of my monthly TBR?

 

Mood Reads


The Long Earth

The first book I feature on this reading list is actually one I finished last night.

The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter was a carryover from May as I hadn’t quite finished the book by the end of the month. Ironically, I have just finished it. So whilst I did technically read some of it in June, I’ll only be talking about it in this week’s Sunday Summary post.

I enjoyed this introduction to the series and I’m curious to see where the later books pick up from this first novel. I’ve gathered the scope gets quite a bit bigger just on the titles alone. I have those books in e-book format so I can pick them up whenever I’m ready!


Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes 

My second carryover from May that is working progress is Terry Pratchett’s biography, A Life With Footnotes.

At the moment I am around 50% through this audiobook, so I’m well on the way to completing this before the end of June. I’ve already enjoyed the first half of this audio, looking at Terry‘s early life, career and establishing himself as an author. We will inevitably move onto the less pleasant side of his later years, his Alzheimer’s diagnosis and ultimate passing, soon. I’m still looking forward to listening to this despite the difficult topic.

I admit I’m curious to see if Terry’s Alzheimer’s affected him in ways that are familiar to me through a family member suffering with the disease also. I’m also interested to see what impact it had on his career. I know in the end he was dictating his books to Rob, but also what other potential impacts there were that we haven’t talked about yet.


Master of Sorrows

I have a couple more carryovers from my May TBR, but these are books I did not get to start.

Are you surprised that once again, Master of Sorrows has been kicked down the line? Well, not anymore! It’s the first physical book I am going to pick up in June now that I’ve finished The Long Earth and nothing. will. stop. me. I have been trying to read this book since February – I’ve waited long enough!


Obsidio

The final carryover from my May TBR is Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman.

Obsidio is the last book in the Illuminae files trilogy. I want to get to it to both finish the series, but also see how the two storylines we’ve enjoyed so far intertwine.

I anticipate Obsidio will be a relatively short read. Although it’s a good few hundred pages, the book is written in mixed media format. It has a lot of imagery so whilst there are some pages of solid text, there are plenty where there are not. I’ve really enjoyed into the world of mixed media from a variety of genres, but I do particularly like it in the science-fiction young adult series. It makes it very approachable to all readers and especially so to those who may be picking it up for the first time.


The Other People

Mum has been making her way through books written by C.J. Tudor after I introduced her to The Chalk Man and The Taking of Annie Thorne. She has recommended The Other People to me as her favourite book so far. Naturally, I want to see what it’s about!

Especially as I’ve not dabbled in the genre for a little while, I’m looking forward to seeing this book is about. This synopsis sounds as good as ever and I trust my mum’s judgement that I will really enjoy this one as she did!


Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots

In an effort to keep up with my non-fiction reading this year, I’ll be picking up the e-book Lunatics, Imbeciles and Idiots. This has been on my reading list since 2017 so is long overdue a read. At under 300 pages, this is also really achievable for me to pick up and make light work of.

I’ve already started this e-book as it was a convenient one to pick up after finishing a physical read of The Long Earth. I want to read on my Kindle for a bit! Aside from audiobooks, I’ve picked up a lot of physical read lately.

In just the half hour I started this last night, I am already well into the first chapter and intrigued as to where this book will take us.

If you are unfamiliar, this is a non-fiction book about how treatment for individuals in the UK and Ireland with mental health issues has changed in the last 200 or so years. By all accounts, we start this book with a lot to be desired in terms of treating people humanely and with dignity.


You Coach You

The last book on this monthly TBR is also a non-fiction and a book I intend to pick up via audio after finishing Terry Pratchett’s biography. The book is You Coach You.

I want to pick up this book for a couple of reasons. The first of these is that coaching is a skill I’m working on personally this year. I totally understand that not everyone is interested in personal development, but I’m still young and haven’t lost interest yet at the very least. On a serious note, I’m the kind of person who believes there is always more to learn. I can always improve.

So, coaching is a skill I want to work on. The other reason I want to pick up You Coach You in particular is because I listen to Helen and Sarah‘s podcast, Squiggly Careers. I already love their content and their style, so picking up their book makes infinite sense! They also narrate the audiobook, so I know exactly what I’m getting into when I start listening to this.

I can’t wait!


Summary

With a few shorter books on my monthly TBR, and a plan to pick up Master of Sorrows as a priority, I have confidence that June is going to be a productive reading month!

That’s all for my Monthly TBR post.

What are you reading?

 

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Discussion Post: How to Make More Time to Read

Today’s discussion post is a topic that’s been on my mind for the last few months – how to make more time to read. It’s shaped a change of my reading habits and has helped juggle my favourite hobby at a time when I’ve experienced a lot of change.

One of the frequent comments I hear when I talk about my reading and blogging as a hobby is “I wish I had time to read.” Well, I hate to break it to you guys… but I’m pretty sure you do. Either that, or it isn’t enough of a priority for you to make more time to read.

I said what I said.

And I can tell you this from a perspective of someone who now has a lot more to juggle. I started dating in February and now suddenly a lot of my free time is spent either with my boyfriend, or catching up on all the necessary things I’m not doing when I’m spending time with Shane.

So, if you want to make time to read but have a busy lifestyle, here are a few tips from someone who’s had to have a long, hard think and implement some changes herself. Here’s my best advice on how to make more time to read! 


Make a Habit: Set Aside Regular Time

It seems obvious, but if you aren’t going to make time to do a task, whether that’s necessary or recreational, then it’s not going to get done. Setting aside time for reading is a life changer. Previously I used to do most of my reading in the evenings at home. However, that time is largely taken up. So, now I find I’m doing more of my reading during my lunch hour at work.

Sure, sometimes I need to pop to the shops or do something else. However, I try to set aside at least 20 minutes of my lunch hour every day to pick up my book. There are plenty of days I don’t intend on going out and so can use pretty much the full hour at my leisure. If I do have to go and run an errand, then there’s always audiobooks to keep me company on the way!


Reading Format: Physical, e-book or audio

In the last few months I’ve discovered that I have less time to sit down and read in the same way I used to. With this in mind, I have started listening to audiobooks more to capitalise on time I’m on my own, but doing other things that prevent me from sitting down with a book or my Kindle.

Whether it’s whilst I’m driving to and from work, or doing housework, audiobooks have given me the chance to keep making progress with my reading list whilst not compromising on the daily schedule.

Different formats work best for different people and only you can be the judge of what’s best for you. Try them out and see which helps you make more time to read.


The Books: Read What Interests You

It may sound daft, but one key piece of advice I would give to anyone looking to read more often is to try and pick up books you know you will enjoy. As an avid reader, I have spent my time picking up books that I have wanted to read, but also picking up new or previously undiscovered reads for review purposes, for example.

Whilst I have fulfilled some blog tour obligations that I signed up for at the beginning of the year, I have almost stopped signing up for them as of right now. This is so I can dedicate my time to my backlist.

I’m not saying I won’t sign up for any more, but I will be more selective. For example, I will continue with blog tours for authors I have already discovered and feature repeatedly. At the same time, I’m less likely to take on anything completely new as I prefer to read my backlist (of 200-odd books).

Even then, I may start looking at this list with a new pair of eyes. I’m always prepared to stretch myself, but I will be keeping my efforts to books I genuinely want to pick up in the moment and not trying to force anything. I guess what I’m saying is I’m going to try and be more of a mood reader. That way I’m not setting expectations that result in a reading slump. I won’t have to force myself to make more time to read if I’m actively looking forward to it in the first place. The same goes for you! 

I hope these tips help all you aspiring readers to make more time to read and pick up your next book!

What book have you always wanted to read but not quite got to?

 

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Monthly TBR – May 2024

Hello fellow readers and welcome to my Monthly TBR! In today’s post, I’ll be sharing the books I hope to pick up over the month of May. I’m looking forward to all these books too! Now that I don’t have any reading obligations ongoing, I have free rein on every single book I pick up this month, and in what order.

I have a newly released sequel, a last in series, a new fantasy series, a science-fiction collab and two non-fiction audiobooks to share with you.

Curious as to what I’m picking up this month? Let’s get into this monthly TBR so you can find out!

 

Mood Reads

 

Empire of the Damned

After some deliberation, I’ve decided to start immediately after finishing Empire of the Vampire by picking up the sequel.

I’ve been looking forward to this read for a long time. It is rare that I pre-order books ahead of publication. However, Empire of the Damned was an exception! Now I’m caught up and refreshed on events of the previous book, I’m going to dive straight into this sequel.

As of this post, I’m already 50 pages into the book and intrigued as to where events are going to take us. It’s not the kind of story I expected to play out based on biases of the characters established in book 1. However, there is promise for conflict and I’m looking forward to getting stuck in!

 

Master of Sorrows

I’ve been trying to get to Master of Sorrows for a few months now, and I’ve decided May is THE month. I have no other reading obligations, so it’s going to be the next book I pick up after Empire of the Damned. I’m perhaps a little ambitious picking up two longer physical reads this month, but I am nothing if not up for a challenge.

I originally drew this book out of my TBR Jar at the end of January, with the intention of picking up the book in February. Three months late is better than never, right?

 

The Long Earth

The Long Earth has been on my reading list since February 2018. It’s been on my radar to pick up anyway, but I just so happened to get a loan copy from our former CEO at work as he has just read the book himself. He’s also a fan of Terry Pratchett.

My experience so far of books co-authored by Terry Pratchett are not the best. However, that’s usually because of the other authors influence rather than Terry’s. I’m not going to let that put me off a new combination though. My dad is a fan of Stephen Baxter, so I want to try it from that perspective as well.

 

Obsidio

Although a slightly thicker book, my experience of the Illuminae Files by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman so far is that they are very quick reads. Having read the first two books of the trilogy, I want to pick up Obsidio in May in order to mark the series as completed.

I also believe this book picks up both storylines from the earlier books and brings the characters from each storyline together. I have no idea how that’s going to work and whether there’s going to be any personality clashes, but I’m excited to see what happens!

 

Terry Pratchett: A Life with Footnotes

The first of my audiobook listens planned for this month is Terry Pratchett’s biography. If it wasn’t already clear I was a fan of his writing in picking up The Long Earth, the fact that I’ve read just under half of his 41 book Discworld series should leave no room for doubt.

I’ve watched a documentary about his life before and I’ve been fascinated by his life story. Now I want to hear that in his ‘own’ words as much as possible. This book isn’t an autobiography as Terry never got to complete it himself. Instead, his assistant Rob Wilkins picked up the mantle to finish it into the biography it is today.

 

F*ck No

The second and shorter audiobook I intend to pick up in May is called F*ck No by Sarah Knight. It’s a book that was recommended to me fairly recently and I’m interested in the content of the book. If I get on with it, then the author Sarah has an extensive collection of other self-help books that I would look to pick up as well.

I’ve already sampled and bought the audio as that’s a big make or break thing for me when picking up a book like that. If I can’t get on with the narrative style, then it’s a hard pass. However, I like what I’ve heard so far so I’m looking forward to listening to it in earnest!

 

Summary

As always, I don’t give myself much slack with my reading lists. However, I’m hopeful that I will get through the majority of this monthly TBR. Although some of the books are a little chunkier, some will be easier to read because of their format; mixed media and using audio when I can’t physically pick up a book are helpful to keep pace.

What are you planning to read?  Have you read any of the books on this monthly TBR? Do you have anything ongoing at the moment that you would recommend?

 

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Monthly Wrap-Up – April 2024

Good evening readers and welcome to my monthly wrap-up post for April! Somehow we’re a third of the way through the year already. Where has that gone?

April has been a good month. I’m still reading less than I did at the beginning of the year and I still have books I didn’t get to. However, I’ve read a number of great books over the month.

Shall we take a look?

 

Books Read

 

Empire of the Vampire

Empire of the Vampire is a book I ended up picking up on and off throughout the month. I started off at the beginning of April on page 171. At the end of the month, I finished off around 530 pages in. 

Empire of the Vampire has been a slow burn read. I’ve read the book before, but it’s been good to revisit the story ahead of picking up the sequel. In truth, I’m slower with re-reads as I don’t have the motivation to find out what’s happening. Even if I don’t remember all the details, I have a rough idea of what’s happened.

I’ve enjoyed reading this book again. I’m not generally one for vampire stories, but Jay Kristoff has a way of making stretching the boundaries of my reading. Whilst I am taking this into May, I hope to finish reading this book soon! As of this monthly wrap-up, I have just 100 pages to go.

 

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

The first audiobook I picked up in April was Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? by Julie Smith. I knew I wanted to go back to non-fiction audio as in the past I have been far quicker at listening to it. In truth, I find the genre easier to listen to than read, and vice versa.

From techniques on how to handle stress and anxiety to grief, the book touches on a broad range of emotions and how we can help ourselves to identify and try to self-regulate. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? excels as both a theoretical and practical guide. Even if you wouldn’t describe yourself as somebody who struggles with their mental health, there are still tips in here that anyone can benefit from. We all experience emotions or various intensities.

 

The Maiden of Florence

The Maiden of Florence is a historical fiction novel I picked up in April as part of a blog tour with Rachel’s Random Resources. I was intrigued by the book for its ties to a powerful Italian family in the period, the Medici’s.

It’s every bit as much a work of feminist fiction as it is historical. Protagonist Guilia spends her life in the power of men. This is her story, but also in part the stories of many women in the period who had little autonomy in their lives.

If you’re interested in picking up the book, here’s my full review so you can check it out for yourself!

 

The Icepick Surgeon

The Icepick Surgeon is also an ongoing read as of publishing this post. I only have a few hours left of the audio, however.

I’ve found this an interesting read. It’s another non-fiction novel, so appeals to me as an audiobook. I also love how it touches on different topics and time periods throughout history. A lot of the chapters interlink well, which is a nice touch.

For anyone who wants to take away any further reading, there is plenty on offer too. Sam is clearly well researched in the subject as he offers his website content, podcasts and other media as extra reading for anyone interested in a particular subject!

As of drafting this monthly wrap-up I’m 70% into the audio, with about 3 hours left of listening time to completion. Broadly I’ve been doing well for making time for audiobooks, so I imagine this won’t take long to wrap-up.

 

Summary

I’ve been taking my time over a chunky read this month, meaning the book count is a little less than usual. However, I’ve had a great time picking up the books I have, and that is ultimately what matters!

What have you been reading in the last month? Is there anything you would recommend to me?

 

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Blog Tour Review and GIVEAWAY: The Maiden of Florence – Katherine Mezzacappa

I picked up the blog tour of The Maiden of Florence as I love the historical setting and implied feminist perspective in the narrative. In that respect, the book has lived up to expectation!

As always, thank you to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources and to author Katherine Mezzacappa for organising this latest tour.

Before we get to my thoughts on the book, here are the details!

 

The Maiden of Florence – Katherine Mezzacappa

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

Audience: Adult

Publisher: Fairlight Books

Publication Date:  18 Apr 2024

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

 

Goodreads – The Maiden of Florence

‘My defloration was talked about in all the courts of Europe. The Prince boasted of his prowess, even as preparations were being made for his wedding, as boldly as if he had ridden across that causeway with bloodstained sheet tied to his lance.’
1584, Italy: Twenty-year-old Giulia expects she will live and die incarcerated as a silk weaver within the walls of her Florentine orphanage, where she has never so much as glimpsed her own face. This all changes with the visit of the Medici family’s most trusted advisor, promising her a generous dowry and a husband if she agrees to a small sacrifice that will bring honour and glory to her native city.
Vincenzo Gonzaga, libertine heir to the dukedom of Mantua, wants to marry the Grand-Duke of Tuscany’s eldest daughter, but the rumours around his unconsummated first marriage must be silenced first. Eager for a dynastic alliance that will be a bulwark against the threat of Protestant heresy beyond the Alps, the Pope and his cardinals turn a blind eye to a mortal sin.
A powerful #MeToo story of the Renaissance, based on true events.

 

Purchase Link – Amazon UK     Amazon US

 

My Thoughts

Plot

We start with a young girl called Guilia, who is cloistered with other orphans for most of her young life. Suddenly she is taken away from that life, lied to and thrust into the political machinations of some of the most powerful men in Italy.

Politics is obviously a key driver in the plot, but far from overwhelming. The perspective is far more personal rather than looking at the broad view. I have enjoyed reading the perspective as is, but I would also have been happy to get a little more detail on the political landscape of the time given the influence on the plot. I know the influence of the Medici’s from history and other sources, but exploration of them is, in my opinion, pretty light touch in this book.

 

Setting

One of the main reasons I wanted to pick up The Maiden of Florence was because of the setting. I have read a limited number of books in this setting previously, but not many. I’m always looking to push my boundaries and try new things!

It’s interesting to explore the setting from the perspectives we see in this book. First we pick up the story from Guilia’s perspective. Having lived a sheltered life throughout childhood, her emergence into the world gives us an awestruck and naïve take on the setting. It gives readers who are unfamiliar with the setting a perspective they can relate to and learn along the way with.

Later there is a second perspective, and from them we get some context of the backdrop and circumstances that have led to events so far. Whilst the majority of the book is from Guilia’s viewpoint, this second perspective is valuable in its contribution to the overall story!

 

Characters

the Maiden of Florence is very much a character driven tale. Guilia, and her life in the hands of more powerful men are the feature. With very little autonomy over her life, she is a victim of society.

Guilia is a complex character in that she goes through so much throughout this narrative. She is taken advantaged of, treated life cattle. She experiences joy and loss and heartache. We are with her for every step of the ride, and it is an emotional one!

Make no mistake, this is Guilia’s story. Although there are plenty of supporting and very influential characters in the book, Guilia is the focus. At the same time, it is also very much a story highlighting the rights (or lack of) for women in this time.

 

Narrative Style

As the book changed perspective a few times, I found it helpful that the book is split into sections to make this clear. The chapters are also relatively short, making this very readable even for short periods of time. That said, I sat and read this book for hours at a time, so it’s binge-worthy too!

The way in which Guilia’s tale is told makes it approachable for all readers. I went into it with some knowledge of the main players and setting. It’s not necessary however. Even if you went in blind, events and the narrative are easy to follow.

 

Summary

If you are looking for an introduction to historical fiction as a genre, or even just a new time period, The Maiden of Florence is a great place to start!

It’s a compelling character driven story that emphasises how treatment of women at the time cast its shadow on society, as well as the women themselves.

 

Author Bio

Katherine Mezzacappa is an Irish writer of mainly historical fiction, currently living in Italy. She has published several novels under pen names with publishers Bonnier Zaffre and eXtasy. She works as a manuscript assessor for The Literary Consultancy. Katherine reviews for Historical Novel Society’s quarterly journal and is one of the organisers of the Society’s 2022 UK conference. In her spare time she volunteers with a used book charity of which she is a founder member.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: https://twitter.com/katmezzacappa
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katherinemezzacappafiction/
https://katherinemezzacappa.ie/

 

Giveaway!

Giveaway to Win a vintage postcard, early 1900s, of the babies from the façade of the Innocenti orphanage. (Open INT)

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Discussion Post – 5 Reasons to Re-Read Books!

I love to re-read books! Whilst some may question the value of doing so, there are some great reasons you may want to re-visit a previous read! I take a look at some of those in today’s discussion post.

Let’s get to it!

 

Five Reasons to Re-Read Books!

Reminder of Events in a Series to date

The reason I am picking up a re-read right now is that I’m looking to read a sequel shortly. I read Empire of the Vampire a couple of years ago and especially, I had Covid at the time. My memory of what has happened so far is a little hazy, so I’m picking up the book now, as a refresher of what has happened so far ready for when I pick up that sequel!


Enjoy a New Edition

It may have bonus content, or in my case with Empire of the Vampire, I can enjoy coloured artwork as opposed to black and white. Either way, I got a pretty new edition of this book after reading the standard edition and I want to enjoy it.

So I am. Immensely!


Re-experience the love of a favourite

Another reason it’s great to re-visit books is that those you are inclined to pick up again are usually firm favourites. There is nothing more fun than re-visiting a favourite book, series or characters. I found this especially helpful in the past when I’ve been in a reading slump and unsure of what I want to read next. Picking up a guaranteed five star is the way to get yourself back in.


Encourage Others to Read

Especially if you are in a position like me where you like to talk about what you’re reading, re-visiting books is a chance to feature them again.

If you’ve ever thought about the power of advertisement, you’ll find its repeated exposure that gets people to engage. In a sense, it’s the same with books! By featuring a book or series repeatedly on my blog or social media, I may persuade any readers who were on the fence the first time to give it a try.

 

Enjoy Details Missed the First Time

I often find in re-reads that I pick up on details I miss first time round because I now know some context. What may seem insignificant first time round can be cleverly hidden foreshadowing. I love that kind of detail. I’ve read books where it’s taken multiple re-reads and I still find something new each and every time.

Those are the best ones!


Summary

There are plenty of reasons to go back and re-read books you’ve picked up and loved previously. Whilst I’ve covered some of my favourite reasons, there are many more!

Do you re-read books, and if so, why? If the reason isn’t included in this post I want your take on the subject!

 

 

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Monthly TBR – April 2024

Hi readers and welcome to a slightly later than planned Monthly TBR post!

To get through a slightly longer reading list in April, I’m making an effort to listen to more audio than usual. I’ve found in the past that non-fiction works best in this format, so that’s what I’ll be listening to. This also works great for my goal of reading more than 15 nonfiction books by the end of the year.

In addition to this, I’m picking up two fantasy reads and a sci-fi physically, and lastly, one e-ARC that I need to review by the 27th April. It’s a full list, so let’s get stuck in!

 

Monthly TBR


Empire of the Vampire

My first read of the month is my re-read of Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I’m looking forward to picking up the relatively new release of the sequel. However, before I dive into that I wanted a refresher of events so far.

As you’ll see from my last Sunday Summary post, I’m enjoying this read so far! I started reading it last month but had to put it aside for blog tour obligations. However, I’m back into it in full swing and loving the story as much as I did the first time.

 

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before?

My first listen of the month is Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? Admittedly I started this audio on a whim after finishing The Atlas Six, but I have no regrets!

It’s just the kind of non-fiction that I can consume easily. I’m already 10 chapters or 2 hours 20mins in, and that’s been pretty easy to work through.

I’m looking forward to listening to more of this audio in the comings days, as well as looking at the exercises that come with it.

 

The Maiden of Florence

Next to feature on this monthly TBR is my one reading obligation this month, The Maiden of Florence. As I’ve already shared, I am reviewing this book on the 27th of the month.

I signed up for the blog tour as I was interested in the story’s ties to the Medici family. I love historical fiction anyway, but it reminds me of my favourite series in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I could play the Ezio storylines over and over and not get bored!

It’s a period of history I haven’t read in a while, and all about casting light on a female character cast aside by history… which has me intrigued!

 

The Icepick Surgeon

The second non-fiction audio I hope to listen to this month is The Icepick Surgeon. I discovered this book when an Instagrammer I follow shared she was reading it in March. Initially I’d hoped to read it then as well. However, time as always runs away and I didn’t get to it at the same time.

But, a month late is better than never! As someone who enjoyed exploring this side of science in psychology, I’m looking forward to reading further around the subject!

 

Master of Sorrows

Master of Sorrows… how many monthly TBR’s has this been on now? Three perhaps? I’ve just not gotten to it so far, but I’m determined to at the very least start it in April.

Last month I deliberately didn’t draw another book out my TBR jar give myself chance to read this one. Given I’ve ended up carrying it over again, the same applies this month.

 

Stretch Goal

The Long Earth

On the off-chance I manage to read all the books above, I’m going to pick up The Long Earth next.

It has been on my TBR since February 2018, but I’ve managed to borrow a copy from someone at work who was discussing it with me recently. He has not long finished it, so I want to state my intentions to pick it up as soon as I can so we can compare notes!


Summary

I’ve plenty of reading to do and as of this post, I have two at currently reading status and no completions! Best get a wriggle on!

Have you read any of the books I feature in this post?

Until next time, happy reading!

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Monthly Wrap-Up – March 2024

A steadier pace was the aim for March, and taking the pressure off reading at such a pace was definitely needed and appreciated! Whilst I didn’t get to all the books I had hoped to on March’s TBR, as of this monthly wrap-up post I am still on track to read 60 books by the end of the year.

Shall we get into this monthly wrap-up post and look at the books I read in March?

 

Books Read

 

Hogfather

Hogfather was a carryover from February’s TBR. I had read about 50% of the book already, and my first aim of the month was to complete this read.

In the end, I rated Hogfather three stars. I enjoyed the play on belief and the festive vibe of the book. However, it wasn’t my favourite book in the Death mini-series.

The Discworld books are so readable. Just a few days into the month, I read the final 50% to finish the book. I’m glad I continued with the series. It’s the longest series I am progressing with and I hope to continue on further with it this year!

 

At the Stroke of Midnight

The first of my blog tour obligations this month was to read and review At the Stroke of Midnight by Jenni Keer.

I loved the sound of the book as it’s very reminiscent of The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton. It has a Groundhog Day theme just the same, set in a Manor House style setting.

Naturally it does has its differences, and the mystery that unravels within are compelling. I also enjoyed the development of the protagonist throughout! If you want to check out that review, here is a link to that here.

 

Raven Lord

Next I started my next blog your read, and the first of two historical fiction novels featuring Vikings!

Raven Lord is the sequel to Warrior Prince, which I reviewed last year. I really enjoyed that first book, and also the sequel, because it features Vikings as we know it, but in a unique setting. Rather than exploring British history, instead Harald and his band of warriors venture through Eastern Europe to secure fame and riches before trying to reclaim the throne of Norway.

The narrative style of this book is one that I love to come back to time and again. Not only that, but the book is full of action and political intrigue in equal measure. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the sequel and I can’t wait to see where the characters end up next.

As with the previous book, here is a link to my full review if you want to read on about this.

 

Enemies of Mercia

The second historical fiction book I picked up throughout the month of March is Enemies of Mercia by M.J. Porter.

This book is the sixth instalment in the authors Eagle of Mercia Chronicles series. Whilst this series does go back to British history, a subset of the genre I have read a lot of, the protagonist makes these books. In that review post shared on Thursday, I expressed that protagonist Icel is one of my favourite characters of the genre! He has undergone so much character development in the series to date, and there are no signs of him stopping.

This book also balances action and intrigue very well, so that fans of either can respect each part without one or the other overwhelming the narrative.

 

The Atlas Six

I’m pleased to share in this monthly wrap-up post that I finished The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake this week!

It has been a long time coming. Of all the ways in which I read books, I am the slowest with audio. It’s not my preferred reading method, but it does have its benefits. Over the last month or so, I have spent most of the time listening to The Atlas Six whilst working on craft projects.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book, but I am undecided as yet as to whether I’m going to continue with the series. The Atlas Six is a very hyped read. Most of the time, I don’t feel that these books live up to that. As good as it was, I think the same of The Atlas Six.

I have doubts as to whether I’m invested enough in the characters and the story to go out of my way to read more. Ultimately, I have a ridiculous reading list with lots of fantasy on there already. Do I need books I’m not sure about on that list? No.

 

Empire of the Vampire

The last book I’ll talk about in today’s monthly wrap-up post, as it is my current read, is Empire of the Vampire byJay Kristoff. I started this book a little after mid-month. However, I had to temporarily set this aside in order to read Enemies of Mercia ahead of my review date.

As of this post, I am 171 pages into this 720 page narrative. It’s a healthy start, and one I’m looking forward to building on in the next few days! This is a re-read, so not the first time I’ve picked up. However, I am enjoying reading a special edition this time round. It’ll also set me in good stead to pick up the sequel soon!

 

Summary

I’ve managed to break even this month and read the number of books required to meet my reading goal. Currently, I can’t ask for more!

Not only that, but I’ve enjoyed the books I picked up in March, the variety between them and I have an exciting monthly TBR coming up to get hyped about!

 

Thanks for checking out this monthly wrap-up post! What have you been reading recently? Have you read any of the books in today’s list? Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

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